I was at the dentist today and I noticed my left front tooth is extremely sensitive to the touch. The dentist gave me an X-ray but didn’t see anything when the X-ray was reviewed. I was given Amoxicillan and I took this an hour ago and was told to take it three times a day, most likely every eight hours. This is supposed to take away my pain but the tooth still hurts a lot.
The dental office recommended I come back in six weeks as my tooth may need a root filling. Is this the same as a root canal? Should I continue to take Amoxillan every eight hours? What is the best protocol for my situation?
– Frank from Oklahoma
It sounds like the pain in your tooth is caused from a tooth infection. This may not be visible on an X-ray because it may take a couple of weeks before a dental abscess or infection is visible on an X-ray. Even though you have pain in a tooth, an infection may not be visible on a dental X-ray. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks before an infection/dental abscess is visible on an x-ray.
Amoxicillan, the antibiotic your dentist prescribed, is not just used to reduce pain but also to minimize the chance of a tooth infection. If you are in pain, we advise you to take 800 mg of Ibuprofen every four to six hours and not to exceed more than 2400 mg per day. Take your Amoxicillin three times a day, every eight hours. For example, you might take it at 7:00am, 3:00pm, and 11:00pm to make it convenient for you. It’s also important to note that antibiotics often upset the stomach so you may wish to have a small snack with your medication.
Sometimes the tooth infection is only temporarily cleared up when taking medication. This means that when you see your dentist for a follow-up appointment in about six weeks, your dentist might not be able to determine if your tooth is infected. If it’s hard to have a diagnosis, it’s recommended to postpone any treatment.
The common cold or sinus infection may cause your teeth to hurt as well.
If you’re still suffering from tooth pain after a couple of months, you should make another dental appointment. If an infection is present, your dentist will probably prescribe another antibiotic and recommend a root canal.
To answer your question, a root canal is the same as a root filling. If this is the treatment recommended following your root canal, you will need to have a porcelain crown placed over the root-canalled tooth to prevent it from breaking and decaying.
This blog brought to you by Dr. Noah, Region Dental.